Delaware Field Hockey Receives Votes in First Kookaburra / NFHCA Division I Poll; Clare O’Malley Named Pre-season All-CAA
August 24, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del - - The University of Delaware field hockey team opens its 2011 season campaign on Friday and before it gets to prove itself on the turf, the Blue Hens received a pair of honors on Wednesday.
The Blue Hens received votes in the opening Kookaburra / National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Preseason Poll while sophomore midfielder Clare O’Malley was named an honorable mention choice on the 2011 Pre-season All-Colonial Athletic Association Field Hockey team.
Delaware, entering 2011 with new head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof at the helm, finished 8-10 overall and 2-6 in the CAA last season. They received 24 votes but finished outside the top 20 of the Kookaburra / NFHCA Division I Pre-season Poll.
The CAA had four six teams receive votes in the year’s first poll, led by last season’s tournament champion Old Dominion at No. 12. The only other ranked team in the CAA was the regular season champion, and tournament runner-up, Drexel which gained 186 votes for No. 18. Also receiving votes inside the CAA were James Madison (51), Delaware, VCU (8), and Hofstra (4).
Defending NCAA champion Maryland topped the poll with 966 points, including 32 first place votes.The 2010 national runner-up North Carolina was second with 939 points (14). Rounding out the top five were Virginia (829 and two first place votes), Connecticut (715), and Syracuse (664).
The Hens will square off against six teams in the pre-season poll, including North Carolina, Wake Forest (11), Old Dominion, Duke (15), Albany (17) and Drexel.
O’Malley (above right), the lone Blue Hen on the All-CAA team, was named to the CAA All-Rookie team in 2010 after tallying a goal and four assists in her freshman season. She started all 18 games and was the inserter on penalty corners where she racked up the bulk of her assists.
Northeastern led the CAA with three members on the All-CAA team while Old Dominion and Drexel had two players each and James Madison and VCU each had one member.
In a vote by the league’s head coaches, Northeastern junior forward Crystal Poland, who tallied 11 goals and six assists last season, was chosen as the CAA pre-season Player of the Year.
Poland earned a first team All-CAA position last season while leading the league in shots per game (4.81) and ranked 10th in total points (28).
The Blue Hens begin the season this Friday, Aug. 26, as they open their season at home in Rullo Stadium against Bryant at 1 p.m.
2011 Kookaburra / NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll
Top 10: 1 – Maryland 966 (32 first place votes); 2 – North Carolina 939 (14); 3 – Virginia 829 (2); 4 – Connecticut 715; 5 – Syracuse 664; 6 – Ohio State 641; 7 – Princeton 615 (1); 8 – Penn State (590); 9 – Michigan 527; 10 – American 457
Also Receiving Votes: UMass (98); Northwestern (84); Iowa (69); Maine (63); Kent State (60); New Hampshire (58); James Madison (51); Northeastern (45); Indiana (30); California (29); Delaware (24).
2011 Preseason All-CAA Field Hockey Team
Kaela Barker, M, Northeastern; Kathryn Kirk F, Old Dominion; Genna Kovar, F/M, Hofstra; Lindsey McArdie, M, Drexel; Katie Nearhouse, F, Old Dominion; Crystal Polan, F, Northeastern; Lizzie Priest, GK, Northeastern; Kelsey Scherrer, F, VCU; Jenna Taylor, M, James Madison; Maartje van Rijswijk, F, Old Dominion; Arielle Williams, M, Hofstra
Honorable Mention: Lindsay Bennett, Northeastern; Amanda Fleischut, Drexel; Kristen Focht, Drexel; Krizia Layne, Hofstra; Amy-Lee Levy, Hofstra; Carolyn Malloy, Northeastern; Clare O’Malley, Delaware; Sam Smiertka, James Madison; Emillie Soares, VCU.
Preseason CAA Field Hockey Player of the Year: Crystal Poland, Northeastern